A recent trip through the north coast wine region resulted in some great new winery finds, a couple of good meals and some wonderful wine country hospitality. We found our days full, but our evenings a little on the quiet side until we ventured 25 minutes north of Calistoga to the wine village of Middletown, in Lake County.
The Twin Pine Casino & Hotel greeted us with a brand new wine themed casino- the first of its kind.The new, state of the art 92,000 square foot facility has a wine tasting room along with a unique wine gift shop, right off the entry, pouring wines from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Recently wines from Rutherford Grove, Six Sigma and Domaine Chandon were offered.
The hotel and casino has outfitted the gaming area with wine tanks, oak barrels, catwalks and light fixtures looking lie grape bunches. Blackjack, Poker, 3-Hand Hold’em and other games share space with the penny, nickel, quarter and one and five dollar slot machines and progressive games.
There is a smoke free Grapevine Bar & Lounge offing live music, free comedy shows and flat screen monitors for sports and concert events. The lounge serves lighter fair or you can visit the elegant 4-star Manzanita Restaurant. There are other food options with their Marketplace food court where you ca get fresh deli-style sandwiches, salads, pizza or fancy coffees.
We stayed at the 60 room hotel, with rooms that we much nicer than a standard hotel room and were very reasonable in cost, especially considering the upgraded amenities of free Internet service, coffee station, mini fridge and kids entertainment consoles.
Adjacent to the hotel and casino is an event center hosting shows as well as wine maker dinners and regional events. During the grape harvest in the Fall check out the rape Stomp where you can jump right in and help make the wine! Last year there was a Lucy look-a-like contest, a silent auction for a local charity and special package discounts.
It’s nice to know you can find some nightlife in the winecountry. Check it out at www.twinpine.com